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Outline & Evaluate romantic relationships in different cultures

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Outline and Evaluate Romantic Relationships in Different Cultures Relationships in different cultures can be studied by looking at individualistic cultures and collectivist cultures. Individualistic cultures focus on the well-being of the individual rather than the group and are usually present in western societies. Collectivist cultures are those where multiple individuals come together into a group, or community. These are often found in non-western cultures (parts of South America, India etc). Relationships in individualistic cultures differ from those in collectivist cultures as individualistic cultures are more accepting of impermanent relationships. Where as collectivistic cultures are more avoidant of uncertainty and so would want to avoid the risk of divorce especially when there are children involved for the sake of the family, as family is usually one of the most important things in a collectivist culture. In cultures where arranged marriages are the norm there is a difference in the priorities considered when choosing a partner, this will affect the formation and maintenance of the relationship. ...read more.


They also found that they were happy with the idea of love marriage, as long as the parents of the couple approved. This backs up the point that family is extremely important when forming romantic relationships in collectivist cultures. Gupta & Singh questioned 100 professionals from India, 50 from arranged marriages and 50 from love marriages. They found that satisfaction in love marriages was higher during the first year together, however it seemed to decrease over time. In arranged marriages, they found satisfaction increased during the first 10 years together. This can show that in individualistic cultures the level of satisfaction may decrease more easily as they might consider the relationship to be impermanent (divorce is an option). However it is difficult to determine the reliability of this study, as the participants were simply using 'liking' and 'love' scales to describe their relationships, which can't be entirely accurate of their emotions during their marriage. Xioahe & Whyte (1990) found that in China, women were more satisfied in love marriages than in arranged marriages. ...read more.


Collectivism, on the other hand, leads to a more group based non-voluntary relationship. Another factor to consider is that attitudes may change in immigrant families over time. i.e an Indian family living in the U.K may keep many traditions and beliefs, but attitudes towards love and marriage may change. This idea is supported by Shuraydi (2002) who found that out of 20 2nd generation Pakistani and muslim women brought up in Canada, the majority favoured western marriage practises which give a greater choice of partners. There are many problems when generalising from one culture to another when examining relationships. The first problem that can occur is researcher bias which might happen when the researchers own expectations of their own culture are reflected onto the research. Another problem is that research into cultural differences in relationships is that much of the research is dominated by "Western" psychologists and the findings of their research are assumed as universal whereas it may be ethnocentric. Cultural bias can occur when a researcher tries to study a different culture for example if there is a language barrier the findings may not translate effectively. ...read more.

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